Blyth RNLI Lifeboat trial is a success

Lifeboats News Release

Volunteer crew from Blyth RNLI welcomed in the New Year with news that the trial of the Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat had been successful and an upgraded asset will join the fleet around 2020.

RNLI/Adrian Don

Blyth RNLI Atlantic 75 out on exercise

The upgraded asset will be an Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat which is planned to go on service at Blyth RNLI in 2020 once construction work has been completed to enable it and the current D-Class lifeboat “D-746 Alan & Amy to operate effectively at the existing lifeboat station.

Following an extensive review of the coastline by the RNLI in 2015, a trial of the Atlantic 75 inshore lifeboat it was confirmed that an Atlantic 85 would effectively meet the needs of the area.

As Blyth waterfront continues to see exciting development, an increase in demand from sports, recreational and leisure marine users is expected. Also, the development of the waterfront and harbour area could generate additional beach and coastal incidents as people spend more time around the water.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat is one of the fastest in the RNLI fleet with a top speed of 35 knots. The B-Class inshore lifeboat can handle challenging open sea conditions – force 7 near gale winds in daylight and force 6 at night with an endurance of 3 hours.

Barry Pearson, Lifeboat Operations Manager at Blyth RNLI, said: ‘The volunteer crew here at the station have been working incredibly hard during the trial and that investment is demonstrated with the arrival of the new Atlantic 85 lifeboat confirmed for 2020.

‘The public can be reassured that the cover provided by the RNLI around the local coast is comprehensive between our station and our neighbouring stations, Newbiggin,Cullercoats and Tynemouth. There has been concern locally that since the RNLI all-weather lifeboat left Blyth in 2004 that cover has reduced, but in fact the RNLI has improved the coverage available for the nature of incident that take place on the coast.’

The Atlantic 85 comes with radar capability and VHF direction-finding equipment which aids finding a casualty vessel in restricted visibility and can have a maximum crew of 4.

The existing D-Class “Alan & Amy” and the B-Class “Vic & Billie Whiffen” will remain in service at Blyth whilst the works are undertaken.

As well as confirmation of the new lifeboat, work is underway at the station to improve the facilities and provide more opportunities for the local community to visit the station and see the lifesaving operation.

RNLI media contacts

For more information please telephone Robin Palmer, RNLI volunteer Crew Member and Lifeboat Press Officer on 07801 290638 or or Nicola Quinn Regional Media Manager on 07810 658072 or or contact the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336789

RNLI/Adrian Don

RNLI/Press Office

Stock image of an Atlantic 85

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.